President’s Message — The Difference a Decade Makes

Shelley Pearce
Shelley Pearce
President, LA-CAMFT

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We live in a fast pace world and we can all feel it. What’s amazing is that mostly happened in just ten years. In 2007, when the internet and high speed computing met the first smartphone, we entered a new era: one of limitless information and momentous acceleration. All of a sudden, we had infinite choices for connection and information in the palms of our hands. Politics, entertainment, business, education, even counseling, have all actually reorganized the way interaction takes place, and in doing so impacted much of our lives, intentions, and focus. This “information age” that we find ourselves in has also presented us with immeasurable options for distraction and avoidance, literally, at our fingertips. If uncomfortable feelings or unease arise in any social situation, one can simply reach for a phone and disappear. It has altered the very way we experience ourselves and one another.

One thing that has not changed, however, in this “Era of Acceleration” is the human need for direct connection. And this, this primordial need for connection, is at the core of LA-CAMFT. Part of what we strive for is to be a refuge, one that offers contact with our peers and one that embraces a diversity of healing arts professionals. We look to be a continued resource, one that supports ourselves and each other, and ultimately our clients. At our monthly gatherings, we share a meal together to get to know each other. We feature top-notch presenters of continuing education, chosen because they are seasoned and have a unique perspective on healing. We engage in meaningful dialogue on how we might integrate what we’ve learned into our practice. And everyone gets an opportunity to introduce themselves and share the essence of their specialty . . . and are warmly welcomed. We simply cannot get such richness of contact and connection from our high- tech devices.

Our summer picnic last month was the embodiment of positivity and receptivity. Each year it grows in vibrancy and people, and it’s due to a whole lot of vital energy, dedicated volunteers, and people enjoying good will and friendship. I want to offer gratitude to the many who helped make it happen, and especially acknowledge Christina Castorena who took a strong leadership role in the event organization and was the catalyst behind an icebreaker event that set the stage for everyone who attended to meet and interact. It’s this kind of energy and these very events that bring us together, create connection, and allow for new ideas and creativity to blossom.

Looking forward, we want to provide more opportunities for camaraderie, collaboration, and contact with our community. This goal starts with expanding our leadership. This past month a group of members has been meeting to discuss issues related to diversity, and the board has voted to approve a standing committee, now in the visioning process. We are also in the process of expanding our board, strengthening existing committees, and creating new ones to meet the needs of the future. (See Randi Gottlieb’s article below: “Stepping up to Chapter Leadership”)

Please consider becoming involved! By doing so, you will lend your voice to shape LA-CAMFT to be the meaningful, connected association it needs to be for our expanding community in the decade to come.

Shelley Pearce, LMFT is currently serving as President of the CAMFT Los Angeles Chapter Board of Directors. She has a private counseling office in Santa Monica, and regularly consults by videoconference with colleagues and clients. She serves on the board of The Global Bridge humanitarian foundation and helped create www.humanisticspirituality.org , an extensive free online resource for counselors. She synthesizes a breadth of career diversity, education, experience, and a sincere desire to help in her service and practice with individuals and couples.